Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Google Drive versus Dropbox

Dropbox is probably the most popular consumer cloud storage service. Phone operating system manufacturers have their own in house services. Microsoft has SkyDrive for Windows Phone. In 2011, Apple added iCloud for its iOS devices. For Android, Dropbox was probably the most common Android solution to cloud storage and file synchronization. Last month, Google added Google drive for its Android phones. More and more, you feel like Dropbox is under pressure from the competition.

Comparing Google Drive to Dropbox in terms of free storage and paid storage this is how the two compare:

Google Drive

5 GB: Free
25 GB: US$29.88 per year*
50 GB: US$59.88 per year*
200 GB: US$119.88 per year*
--- with plans up to 16 TB.

*Includes a upgrade of your Gmail account to 25 GB.


2 GB to 21.9 GB: Free**
50 GB to 85.9 GB: US$99 per year***
100 GB to 135.9 GB: US$199 per year***
--- with plans up to 1 TB.

** When you sign up for a Dropbox account you get 2 GB free. But if you sign up through a referral you get an additional 500 MB as a referral bonus. Both the person who makes the referral and the one who signs up for a referral link earns 500 MB. You can earn up to 16 GB via referrals.

Earn an additional 500 MB by signing up for Dropbox here.
Earn 250 MB by completing some basic tasks.
Earn 640 MB by completing some additional tasks.
You can also earn another 500 MB to 3 GB  by uploading pictures through the Camera upload.

*** Once you get a paid plan, the bonus for every referral is increased from 500 MB to 1 GB.

Google Drive offers more starting free storage at 5 GB, as against Dropbox 2 GB. But in reality you should be able to start your Dropbox account at 3.9 GB, since it is easy enough to earn the additional 1.9 GB.

If you have no plans of paying for storage, Dropbox will allow you to earn more space through referrals and tasks and with some work, your free account can grow as large as 21.9 GB.

If you need more than 21.9 GB or would rather pay for storage that earn reward points, Google Drive has lower rates per gigabyte. Dropbox does allow you to carry over earned bonuses to paid plans.

In my case it is not really a case of one or the other. I use both. I decided to use Google Drive to replace the "My Documents" folder, and "Dropbox" to replace "My Pictures".

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